It was a trip to remember
The paint was flowing, shutters clicking and drawings sketched as the beauty of the Kansas Flint Hills was captured on paper and film by seven local artists and one fisherman during a weekend retreat in April. Not only was the beauty caught that weekend, but the spirit of the land all around contributed to a sense fulfillment and rejuvenation in each one of us.
It was late Friday afternoon about 4 on March 31, when the group (consisting of Sandy Cardens, Christy Carlisle, Ann Gentry, Melinda Hipple, Laura Morford, Star Novak and Ann Pearson) headed East to Clover Cliff Ranch, which is located in Chase County between the Kansas towns of Clements and Elmdale. Clover Cliff is a 4,000 acre working cattle ranch.
There are three buildings on the ranch; The "Big House" which is a bed and breakfast as well as a Kansas Historical site plus two ranch houses which guests may also reserve for their stay on the ranch. We stayed in one of the ranch houses, the "Gables." We had two days of inspiration and relaxation what a combination!
The beginning of each day was welcomed with a buffet style home-cooked
breakfast in the "Big House." It was fuel for the imaginations ready to find their niche.
Day one brought drizzling rain, which did not stop us from going forward
with what we came to do. Some stayed behind in the house and painted. Every window had a view of the flint hills and its vegetation, easily in view of
the painters. Some even found sources of interest within the walls of the ranch house. The others ventured outdoors to roam the ranch to see what treasures awaited them. The shutter bugs found many subjects in nature just posing and saying "take my picture." The gloomy day certainly did not hamper their efforts.
The second day the rain had stopped and we were greeted with a beautiful site at dawn. It looked as though we had water all around us! This illusion was fog. This was indeed a site to behold. The cameras were out in full force
by now. Several rolls of film were exposed before we sat down for breakfast at 8 a.m. The rest of the morning was spent exploring with paint and different effects of ink and watercolor and acrylic on paper by some, while others organized their belongings and finished up their pieces to prepare for the trip home. It may have been the end of our trip but for most of us it was a beginning. When is the next trip...?
By the way, in case you are wondering about the "fisherman," it was Christy's husband, Paul Knapp, who contributed to the "catch" of six bass, eight catfish and numerous blue gill all on the catch-and-release program. Paul was the all-around guide, driver, carrier of heavy packs, hook baiter and body guard for the group of artists.